In The Deep: Rest.

So… you know that feeling when you’re under water and it seems like all sound goes away, and you feel like you’re alone in the world …just you and water.
I like that feeling. I mean of course, I want to come back, and resurface.. but I like that sound of quiet. I am such an introvert. I don’t like being round anyone sometimes, and you could say that would be my best way of being. Just hanging out with myself and no sound. It’s like it energizes me.

Most times.

It offers me clarity. It helps me to breathe slowly and regulate to manageable ways of breathing. I just love it.
Sometimes when I have lots of it, I go to sleep.
And the naps I take can last long, when I’m really emotionally exhausted.
I love that when I take naps there is no one judging how I spend my time of telling me I am wasting it. Resting.
You know I used to be told that. So I didn’t rest much. And I was grumpy, irritable, mean and just plain …not myself. So I got out of that relationship.

Because I learned those naps were more about what He wasn’t doing, than what I wasn’t doing with my time. Hmmm… and I chose to move on , because rest is paramount. Being able to find it, cultivate it, and honor it became a precious way of sustaining my power. My internal power. Selah
And there are other things that help me sustain my power… like drinking tea before bedtime, just existing , by being wrapped up under covers; and having a meaningful conversation with a friend.

And lately it’s been just plain ole meditation and prayer…

(We’ve has great days…outside today. 82 degree weather in October!)

I really believe we often underestimate the value of rest and its rejuvenation of the soul. Take some time for you, choose in advance not to be moved or swayed by “what anyone else thinks”, and plan some down time! I’ve been spending a lot of time outside since this has been the most beautiful autumn ever!

Your soul will thank you for it!

On Being Authentically Happy.

I’m learning authentic happiness is often  unearthed in the places we least expect.

So… after a very challenging  week last week, and more contemplation on just what it takes to remain in a positive state of mind and be: #NthabiHappy , I have found that it takes effort and a soul- searching and it helps to also be aware of your state of being and having tools & resources, mentors , even to help you manage to shift it; even noticing at times when it’s okay to NOT shift it, and to “just be.”

One of my girlfriends asked me today in the midst of my coping with my grief – “how I was managing?“. To be honest, I literally didn’t have words. I told her that I was just trying to be “present” with my grief because at the moment that’s all I knew how to do.   I learned that here.

I know, you didn’t expect a “Happiness” article to be about grief, did you? (It’s Ok. ) – it’s just authentic talk. Contentment comes with acceptance . I’m learning that the more content you are in your soul, the better you exude happiness. We have to deal with the unrest in our souls in order to be truly authentic human beings.
Sometimes being present to life and living it , it’s what necessary to thrive. The effort we put forward in being one who lives with purpose and living in faith, are what sustains is.

And movements of faith looks like : Finding others who share our faith, encourage us, those who treat us with love and kindness, taking care of our soul: our mind , will and emotions… and living in peace with ourself and others. It looks like praying, and sitting and being honest with yourself, telling yourself what you need, then pursuing that. This year, I knew I needed a group of women praying with me. So I created a group called SHINESisters Helping Intercede Nurture and Excel. Shine is doing so much more than I ever imagined! (And it’s only six months old.) Yet I am excelling and I’m being nurtured by women who are awesome leaders.

As I look back and think about my answer, I realized that was great for an answer, because if we live in the present, we are not numbing out . We are living life and not allowing it to happen to us, but we are being conscious to what we need to be in this life.

Sometimes when you aren’t sure “how to be”; you have to just focusing on BEING. And then feel what you must, in that moment, even if it’s the most saddest, painful and unspoken fear you’ve ever had. Then call a friend, get some professional help if it surfaces too often or is too heavy for you; or perhaps get a mentor to guide you through it or help with combined perspective; and don’t walk it ALONE.

This “processing” of myself and my pain, I literally decide to ’embrace’ and ‘move through it’, in order to become a better me. And that’s quite alright.

As I therapist, I’ve learned that moving through your pain with someone who understands and makes you feel totally and absolutely validated in that pain, can actually help you to move past the most painful part of it.

But it still takes some time. Make some attempts at being as authentic as you can possibly be.
What does that mean? It means to not deny what is inevitable. Practice acceptance and just move through your emotions feeling every part of who you are.  But after a while letting go. Remembering that this has made you a better person, accepting that it’s meaningful, and embracing the lessons learned.

Being #NthabiHappy ( that’s my video blog series) Today, NthabiHappy means just allowing myself to be authentically me. Feeling the good, feeling the not so good, yet determining to still be happy, despite myself and my emotions. When we learn to embrace emotions instead of run from them, we’ll find that life can be a rewarding presence and those emotions can transform into Pure Joy.

Selah.

Birthdays, Smiles, Joys & Even Some Sorrow. #50DaystoFifty

This past weekend was possibly the longest I’ve ever had. I lost my father in law. We didn’t expect it , and there was a wall of grief around us as I determined to enjoy my birthday weekend. Two days later I turned 50.

Some may say when grief impacts a weekend that’s supposed to be joyful and celebratory, and then … to celebrate, when we’re supposed to be grieving, it’s just—- wrong.

I disagree.

Grief is supposed to involve emotion.

It’s supposed to be embraced. To grieve means to express sorrow. And that, I did. With close friends and also the love . The love for my love one, the love for my life lived fully, to fifty. I expressed my love for learning and living 50 years; and yet welcomed the joy of its arrival. I expressed, embraced and enjoyed it all.

To the FULL.

And considering that this YEAR my word for 2017 was “Embrace“; I had to challenge myself to do more, be more, reach for more. I knew year 50 would never come again, & if I were to be present with my grief, then I must receive all that was for me in that moment.

Yes…Grief impacted me, the pain, the loss, the sadness, yet I also celebrated the life of a man and how he lived it to the very moment of turning it over; to the turning of a century over my life. Wow. Almost cataclysmic emotion, it was. To experience such highs and lows in only a few days. A new page, a new era for myself, a life to celebrate & memories left behind to share with friends & family….all rolled into one.

I can smile. I can embrace this life with all its sudden and exclamatory emotion, and STILL be at peace with God, my family and myself.

Yes …because this life And...his life… was celebratory, too.

Selah.

Pursuing Happiness in Challenging Times

So today, I wrote this as my  Facebook post: “Happiness is not necessarily just a feeling. It’s a disposition, a state of mind, & it involves hope.

Happiness is in your stature, your outlook and your ability to receive.”

There’s been so much transition in this season . It seems like since August there’s been so much change. Change I wasn’t ready for, change that came suddenly and unexpectedly, change that blew in with the fall winds.

It’s like the earth feels it’s upheaval as well. The hurricanes three of them… or more.. that left major devastation, affected lives, changed lives and brought new beginnings. Then the Las Vegas shootings …Then the fires… speechless. It’s as if everyone grieved altogether, as one. These tragedies have meaning.  These catastrophic conditions are screaming nope our attention. The earth is having birthing pains.. and why…? I’m uncertain.

Sadness, … all around.

Where is the hope?

Where do we find happiness?

It’s in recognizing blessing.

Sometimes yes, family members pass on,  we experience hardships, but we thrive. We endure.

We are stronger, better, more powerful even, when we endure.

Endure for your neighbor, endure for those who have no hope. Endure for those who don’t know how to even begin to believe.

You can do it.

Don’t give up.

Be grateful .

Be steadfast.

Surrender.

Selah.

Surrendering is such a spiritual process and most people might ask: “ How is it done?” It’s a constant turning over to God the things you cannot handle. There’s a saying that says: “ God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I didn’t believe that at one time, but then I realized who knows what we can handle better than God? In fact, He made me, so of course He knows how strong I am.

HAPPY People are Healthy People

Just sharing on how Happy People Are Healthy People! #NthabiHappy

 Happy people  do healthy  activities.

  1.  Happy  people  care about  who they call “friends”. They make  good choices  about who they spend their time with , and if those people are not  encouraging or   uplifting, they detach.
  2.  Happy  people  enjoy  good company of  those who pour  goodness into their lives.  They seek out mentors and people of faith to  encourage the lower  points of their lives, when they are down or discouraged. They seek out those who  encourage their leadership.
  3.  Happy people  are people who  watch what they eat.  As unpleasant as something might be to eat, if they  enhance your  overall body  weight ,  feeling and  energy,  you  DO IT!.  If you have to  get a partner, you have to   ask for help, you have to  join a group, you   DO IT!
  4.  Happy  people  love to  do  self-care.  They  walk, they  spend time pampering themselves,  they  eat  right,  and not too much  junk(  they might cheat once a week) ,  they  spend money on themselves without feeling  guilty, because they work hard and   love to look in the mirror and see a  good reflection smiling back   at them,)

Take a ride here and see what I am   taking about over on  Facebook!  I have a lot to   say lately  about  HAPPINESS!

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Getting Old? …Or Growing?

So it’s only ten days away… yeah.

The closer my days get to being fifty, the less celebrated I feel. Yeah.

I know I should be elated, but I feel. As if my entire “Life ” is shifting.

Hey Transition!!👋🏾👋🏾

And it is there’s a lot of transition going on. Unexpected transition. As if my 50th year brought this unexpected change and shifting.

Don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of transition. In fact it makes me anxious. So I’ve had to intentionally monitor my steps in this season of my life and keep myself intentionally busy, and focused on gratefulness.

I think I’m doing a pretty good job, despite all. I’ve started “NthabiHappy” my little video series and coaching focus to help people notice and cultivate a sincerity with their happiness.

And here I am.

Still shifting.

I am eating a whole lot better; (because my body demands it, (or I get sick ) I take my multivitamins & my iron, ( or my energy wanes); and I am listening to this fifty year old bossy because IT KNOWS what I need. I am also practicing Sabbath once a week- because it’s the only thing that brings me balance in life; and I am exercising more. Walking daily, and also looking into a yoga class to calm this anxiety that was exponentially and overwhelmingly produced (when I didn’t pass my licensing exam by five points!) Yep.

Well, I’m working on it, so I applaud myself for working this hard on me. I’m worth it. But when do you ever get time to work on you, right?

Wrong!!

Working on “you” should be just like brushing your hair, or your teeth; going grocery shopping; or getting your car maintenance completed. It’s ALL relative! And age fifty, or thirty or forty even, can be that beginning, of you plan to live another century, I suppose. Ha!☺️

Okay I have so many practices to share that I do, I really didn’t even recognize them as “Pursuing Me”; but wow.. you’re gonna love this series I have extended for My Fifty Days to 50 self-love ❤️ series!In case you’re wondering here’s what a little self-love looks like! I took this waiting for the sun to come up on my balcony, not long ago.